Friday, November 15, 2013

Francis Fatigue

I admit it.

I'm suffering from Francis Fatigue.

I'm not being critical of Pope Francis. I like him. I'm interested in what he is doing and saying.

The problem is that because he does not use Carefully Couched Vatican Speak, or does spontaneous things, he is constantly being interpreted, translated, mistranslated, nuanced, distorted, and so on. Then folks on the left and right jump up and down and declare "He's on our side!" or "He's a danger to the Church!"

Meanwhile, non-Church people - like, most recently, Sarah Palin - base their comments on the way the secular media and folks in both extremes represent what he said and did. (Palin did acknowledge at the time that she was basing her concern on what's been reported, and later, apparently apologized.)

And then defenders have to come out to explain what he said and what he meant. Meanwhile some people - like some politicians looking for an out - vote against Church teachings because it seems as if Pope Francis gave them wiggle room.

As for me, I keep getting people asking me questions about whatever the latest news flash is.

I've gotten to the where I don't want to read news reports or commentaries about him. I inwardly sigh when people ask me my views.

Oh, I'll still read. I'll still answer when it seems the other person is sincere and not interested in starting a debate.

But I'm beginning to sense the same burned-out feelings I felt back in the 90s when I was a Catholic journalist for a diocesan paper in a deeply divided diocese.

I ultimately quit that job in frustration, and thought of leaving the Church.

It's not that bad now. But boy, I'm in a grumbling mood.

Thank God for my Franciscan Fraternity meeting tonight!

Pax et bonum

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